Weekend Wrap-Up

By Tim Briody

October 9, 2016

Don't be sad, Emily Blunt. It makes us sad!

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Fifth place goes to animated entry Storks with $8.4 million and it has now earned $50.1 million in three weekends. That’s down 37% from last weekend and despite the dearth of animated releases since the summer, Storks is going down as a huge disappointment. The WB release is headed towards about an $80 million total.

Down in sixth place we finally have our next opener, The Birth of a Nation. Once a near lock for major awards attention, the controversy of a 1999 sexual assault case involving director and star Nate Parker derailed any hype before any major ad campaigns could start. That definitely had an impact on the financial performance of Birth of a Nation, leading Fox Searchlight to start it in just 2,100 theaters and resulting in a weekend performance of only $7.1 million.

While it’s impossible to to say how much money the controversy surrounding the film cost it in the long run, the Sundance darling considered a shoe-in for a Best Picture nomination now sees just a 79% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes and its awards chances rapidly falling apart. While sometimes there’s no such thing as bad publicity, “the creative force here might happen to be an awful person,” does not fall in that category. While it’s still one to watch as we get closer to the end of the year, it’s hard not to associate the film with the problematic issue.

The third opener of the weekend is seventh as Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (to which I say, just wait until high school, kid) earns $6.9 million. It hit its target audience and didn’t really expand on that, which was to be expected. Based on a kid-lit series by James Patterson (yes, that one), Lionsgate is also hoping for a small bump on Columbus Day when schools are closed. The good news is it cost less than $10 million to make, so it’ll likely come out ahead over the next couple of weeks.


Sully continues to wind down its solid run, taking in another $5.2 million in its fifth weekend and giving the Tom Hanks/Clint Eastwood collaboration a total of $113 million. It’s headed to a total of $125 million, which would be the third best performance by an Eastwood helmed film, after Gran Torino ($148 million) and American Sniper ($350.1 million, a number that still astounds me).

Long delayed comedy Masterminds gets a second weekend in the top ten with $4.1 million, giving it $12.7 million in two weekends. Held up by Relativity’s bankruptcy last year, the comedic adaptation of a real life money heist won’t be getting them out of that situation as it actually cost about $25 million to make and won’t quite make $20 million, a shame given the comedic talent involved.

Finally, Queen of Katwe is in tenth place with $1.6 million, and has now earned $5.3 million after two weekends in wide release. While not a world beater at the box office, it’s gotten exceptional reviews and I still think you have to consider Lupita Nyong’o as a contender for her second Oscar nomination based on the raves for her performance.

Overall, it’s another bad weekend for Hollywood as the top 12 films this weekend managed just $96 million while last year’s took in $110 million. Next weekend they’ll try again to buck the trend, as Ben Affleck returns as The Accountant, while Kevin Hart debuts his latest stand up special, What Now?

Top Ten for Weekend of October 7-9, 2016
Estimated Gross (millions)
Weekend Change
Cumulative Gross (millions)
1 The Girl on the Train Universal 24.7 New 24.7
2 Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children 20th Century Fox 15.0 -48% 51.0
3 Deepwater Horizon Lionsgate 11.7 -42% 38.5
4 The Magnificent Seven Sony 9.1 -41% 75.9
5 Storks Warner Bros. 8.4 -37% 50.1
6 The Birth of a Nation Fox Searchlight 7.1 New 7.1
7 Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Lionsgate 6.9 New 6.9
8 Sully Warner Bros. 5.2 -36% 113.0
9 Masterminds Relativity 4.1 -37% 12.7
10 Queen of Katwe Walt Disney 1.6 -35% 5.3

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